The beauty of spring is how it marks fresh, new beginnings. Flowers that have been quietly biding their time during winter are finally able to stretch their green shoots and bloom with pops of colour everywhere. Many-a baby animal is born, with fluffy coats and snuffly noses ready to explore the big, wide world. Warmer weather means getting outdoors more, soaking in the sunshine as the days get longer. What more could you love about spring? As the Northern Hemisphere gets right into the ‘spring’ of things, we’re dreaming of five beautiful European countries to visit in springtime.
Spring signals the start of a variety of outdoor activities in Greece. With the awakening of Mother Nature and lots of lush greenery making its appearance, going for a hike and drawing in a lungful of fresh air is just what the doctor ordered. Picture old stone footpaths that connect mountainous villages, little bays, historic sites and awe-inspiring hillsides with spectacular views all round. Crete Island, Corfu and Naxos Island are particularly popular for hikers. See how much of the iconic bougainvillea you can spot along the way – often found creeping over a local café or home with its bright flowers and gorgeous vines.
While it may take a wee bit longer for Norway to warm up in spring, it is well worth the wait. The melting snow from the mountain ranges makes nearby waterfalls, rivers and lakes swell in volume; blossoming fruit trees are seen in abundance along the Handangerfjord and Sognefjord areas – in particular, those ripe with apples and cherries; and Norwegians delight in the first of the seasonal lamb dishes, often accompanied by the year’s first potatoes, asparagus and wild garlic. A visit to Norway in spring is not just stunning, but tasty, as well!
The Emerald Isle sees the land become emerald again in springtime. Imagine a sea of wildflowers as far as the eye can see in its rugged countryside, complete with new lambs in every field and the annual arrival of cute puffins to start their breeding season. Even though there is still a decent amount of rainfall, the silver lining to this is the number of rainbows stretching across the sky! Don’t miss exploring the Burren National Park, home to one of the most diverse wildflower landscapes in Europe – with species from the Artic and Mediterranean in full bloom.
It would be rude not to include Holland, one of Europe’s most popular countries to visit in springtime thanks to its epic tulip varietals. While we love to tiptoe through the tulips at Keukenhof, we can’t forget about the equally beautiful Flevoland or Kop van Noord-Holland. Flevoland is home over 5,000 hectares of flower fields, blooming in a sea of colour on what was once the sea floor of Zuiderzee; whilst Kop van Noord-Holland is the world’s single biggest flower bulb field, best visited towards the end of April.
Situated so close to breath taking mountains and deep valleys means Slovenians are treated to gorgeous alpine scenery year-round. Springtime heralds the start of its alpine flower season, with these buds spreading their vibrant colours throughout the lush, green mountain meadows and valleys as well as city parks and gardens. In particular, Golica (a nearby mountain in the Karavanke Alps) is covered in white in May – not with snow, but with plentiful daffodils! On the other side of the colour spectrum, Velika Planina plateau sports a purple field of crocuses.
Springtime is a remarkable time of year to visit, with warm temperatures and fewer crowds. Take a look at our Avalon Waterways Tulip Time river cruises, Globus and Cosmos tours, and Independence by Globus packages, through Europe today.